Organizers hope a new $200,000 marketing initiative showcasing Rutland County — rebranded as the Killington Valley — will entice professionals in cities like New York and Boston to visit the region.
The new name is an attempt to take advantage of the Killington Resort's powerful nationwide name recognition, but it's just the beginning of the marketing effort.
A new video, launching the campaign, focuses on Rutland County as a mountain biking destination. It shows twenty and thirty-somethings enjoying lift service biking at Killington, new trails in nearby Pittsfield and Rutland’s vast biking trail network in Pine Hill Park. Then it shows everyone piling into cars and heading to cafes and restaurants in downtown Rutland.
Lyle Jepson, Executive Director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation, one of several sponsors of the campaign, says the video kicks off a 10-year effort to leverage the internet and social media to tout the assets of the entire region, all 27 communities.
“Whether it’s slate valley trails in the Poultney-Fair Haven area, or it’s an 18 hole, disc golf course in Pittsford. We have lots of outdoor adventure opportunities for people to participate in,” says Jepson, "but we haven’t done a very good job of getting the word out."
Besides the video, a new website provides maps and more detailed information on mountain biking in the region. Jepson says the next video and website will showcase area hiking.
Brattleboro marketing firm, Mondo Mediaworks, has been retained to help drive the regional marketing campaign and is now in process of developing creative elements that will continue the effort.
Jepson, who is also Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs at Castleton University, says the campaign has big goals. First and foremost to turn around the region’s population decline by encouraging folks who visit to come here to live and work. There are jobs, says Jepson, it’s just a matter of getting word out.